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Election Commission (EC) Says those left out of draft NRC can vote

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday made it clear that those who have been excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens in Assam can vote if they qualify under electoral laws even if the NRC is not finalized before the Lok Sabha polls next year.

“Why not. Suppose I am not in NRC but if I fulfill the criteria under the Representation of People Act — that is I am a citizen of India, 18 years of age and ordinarily resident of that area — I can be a voter,” Chief Election Commission O.P. Rawat told the media.

He said the voter enrollment process is not connected to the NRC although the poll panel was closely coordinating in Assam to ensure that no one is left out and eligible persons are included in the electoral roll for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“Election Commission (EC) voter enrollment exercise is independent of NRC though they are working in synchronization. The final electoral roll to be published on January 4, 2019, will be used for general elections,” Rawat said.

“The Election Commision of India with its objective of ‘no voter to be left behind’ has asked Chief Electoral Officer in Assam to coordinate closely with state coordinator NRC so as to ensure that all eligible persons are included in the electoral roll. This way a final electoral roll will be published on April 1, 2019, to be used for general elections 2019.”
He said it was a draft NRC and in the next one month all these 40 lakh individuals, who have not been included, will be informed about the reasons for their exclusion.

Rawat was speaking amid apprehensions that those who have been dropped out of the NRC list would not be eligible to vote. (IANS)